Yesterday I found this video come across my Twitter feed. One idea that I gained from it is for my Twitter PLN lesson. One lesson that really needs to hit home for students is the power a positive, digital presence. One way that we do is through the use of Twitter. One idea that came to me during this video was Wolf Creek. So here we go - the Twitter lesson. (FYI My guiding questions are in bold). What do we need to drink to quench our thirst? – Water. For this lesson I can bring students to the river (on campus!) and talk to them about this concept. What do we notice about the river? (Possible answers could be - it is flowing, always moving, consistent, etc). Which is exactly the point I want to make about Twitter. Twitter is often referred to drinking from a firehose or a river of constant information. So many nuggets of awesomeness in one tool! There is so much information out there how do we get it all? Often, students feel intimidated by Twitter because there is so much information coming at them at one time. In her keynote, @coolcatteacher describes drinking all the water from a local river at once. It is not possible for one person to do that. I can bring a jug of water and Dixie cups to the river. Give each student a Dixie cup and some water in the cup. Then challenge them to drink the entire jug of water in less than one minute. Then challenge them to drink all the water in wolf creek. By doing so it will demonstrate to the students that they would be uncomfortable if they drank all that water in less than 1 minute. But, by taking a little bit of water over time in small amounts you can actually consume it and feel comfortable and quench that thirst – or in twitter terms quench that thirst for knowledge.
How can we use this river? OR how do we use Twitter? Fishing - we can fish in the river. When we fish we can try to get a bite or catch something on our own. We might be successful and get a few nibbles or we might catch an old boot. A better way could be to follow those seasoned fishermen. We can observe what they use for bait, what strategies they use, and how they catch fish in Wolf Creek. This is the same for Twitter. We need to follow those who are going to provide us with quality tips, techniques, strategies, and tools for our future classroom. We need to build that PLN with quality educators, leaders, administrators, and other professionals in the field.
Swim - we can swim in the river. Throughout the course we will use Twitter to build our PLN. For the first few weeks you will in the shallow end of the creek - splashing around in this new digital playground and getting the lay of the land. Maybe it is only our class in the shallow end and I am your lifeguard guiding you and helping you to swim. But, as we gain more experience - we will venture out into deeper areas of the river. We will gain more confidence in what we post and swim with some of the "big kids". As we do so expectations will rise and you will no longer need me as a lifeguard you will be out there treading water in the deep end. Sometimes you will hit a wave or may get pulled under - but that is how Twitter is. It is in its nature to challenge you. So I challenge you my future students and students who already took the course - How will you challenge yourself this summer as a future educator?
More light bulb moments to come! Stay tuned. Would love to hear your comments/thoughts.
I write about edtech in action, random tools I find, and reflections upon teaching and learning.